Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Got to go? Echo Park and Silver Lake homeless to get maps of neighborhood public restrooms

Public restrooms at Echo Park Lake


SILVER LAKE –– The growing numbers of homeless across Silver Lake has been accompanied by complaints of street people urinating and defecating in public or in the yards of residents. Now, the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council has taken a step to deal with the problem by having maps of the public restroom and shower facilities in both neighborhood distributed to the homeless. As it turns out, most of the facilities are in Echo Park.

The idea for the  Silver Lake-Echo Park Hygiene Facilities map came out of a discussion last November at the neighborhood council’s Education, Youth and Families committee, where the problem of public urination and defecation was raised. After discovering there are no public shower facilities in Silver Lake for the homeless, the hygiene map was expanded to include Echo Park.

SLNC member Teresa Sitz, who spearheaded the effort, said public restrooms are spread too far apart in the area and hopes the effort to print and distribute the map clarifies the basic quality of life issue that needs more attention. She added that they are working with the city to keep Silver Lake’s two recreation centers open on Sundays for this reason.

According to a drafted map, there are  eight public restroom facilities in Echo Park and Silver Lake, all at local parks, libraries and recreation centers.  A flier will include a Google map image of the locations, such as the Silver Lake Recreation Center and Echo Park Lake, as well as the hours of operation.

Council District 13 has agreed to print the fliers, which will also be translated into Spanish and will be posted on the SLNC website, Sitz said.

Matt Sanderson  is a journalist, photographer and digital media producer. A native of Rhode Island, he received his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of New Hampshire and moved to Los Angeles in 2012 with Patch.com/AOL

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  1. Unfortunately the only one of these facilities that provides showers is the Echo Park Pool, and my understanding of that facility is that there is a fee to enter which is prohibitive for many. Do the recreation centers have shower facilities?

    • The homeless just walk in and shower without paying.

      • Echo is right. I’ve seen it happen dozens of times. Homeless advocates give them talking points to intimidate anyone who tries to question them.

      • Letting homeless people shower at the pool seems like a good idea to me. Way better than people trying to bathe in the sinks at the library.

        • This map needs more pins. The librarians, lifeguards, and groundskeepers who now have to deal with an influx of homeless at each of these “Hygiene Facilities” can re-direct them to Teresa Sitz’s house and the homes of the rest of the SLNC board who thought this was a good idea.

          • I don’t understand. Do you prefer that the homeless are forced to urinate/defecate/wash in people’s front yards or alleyways or in areas not designated for such things (e.g. washing in fountains or mcDonalds sinks)? These are PUBLIC restrooms. The homeless have every right to them that you do. If you see this “influx” as a problem, you should recognize that if you find it an inconvenience to share a public restroom with a homeless person what inconvenience it must be to them to never have privacy and have to rely on public hours to keep up their hygiene. Perhaps this policy is causing overuse of certain facilities – fine – so suggest a solution that will mitigate the consequences but not continue to marginalize the homeless. Also, please have some compassion before you complain. Realize how liberating it is to have a place you call your own, a key to that place, and a bathroom/shower at your disposal.

    • Great. There’s nothing better at 6AM than doing a masters swim workout at EPP in the reserved lanes with a group of swimmers when an unwashed homeless dude in his underwear sneaks into the pool, then jumps in and demands to float on his back in your speed lane. Because, otherwise, you know, the swimmers are violating *his* rights.

  2. This map points out the dire need for public facilities that offer showers and toilets, and even laundrey facilities, not to mention someplace where people without housing could spend the day besides outside. There are, understandably, many complaints about people bathing in public and semi-public restrooms (libraries, rec centers, etc). It would be an enormous help to have some kind of facility designed to provide these kinds of services, along with an outreach worker who might be able to address the clients’ other needs.

  3. Just give out bus fare to Santa Monica. One way, of course.

  4. Good job! This has got to be one of the more productive ideas to come out of the SLNC in years!

  5. the Silver Lake NC homeless Coalition this evening., Monday the 9th at 6:30pm.
    4201 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90029.

    At tonight’s meeting, there will be a training on using United Ways Home for Goods assessment tool for measuring vulnerability and link to services for our local homeless and we will be developing an outreach plan.
    Any questions- [email protected]

  6. Teresa Sitz distributes maps to lead the homeless away from her home in silver lake, towards echo park. Just like when she tried to stop a the echo park gang injunction because she feared it could push gang members to her part of silver lake. What a hypocrite. The best map to give them would be a map to her house.

  7. Are Sitz and her coharts ready to pay for and provide extra cleaning/janitorial services once their map gets out to all? In a recent discussion here on Eastsider, regarding homeless people, one contributor stated they could not use the the restrooms at Echo Park Lake as they were filled with belongings of homeless.

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